Wednesday, 3 March 2010


That's yer actual French, that is.

At almost exactly the same point as in January, the rations are starting to bite. It's not that I haven't had great food. Even the potatoes last night were almost enjoyable and varied (the tomato version was the best, surprisingly; the stuffing one failed epically; the cottage cheese proved my forgotten point that cottage cheese actually isn't very nice).
But I'd really like something artificial and nasty. Plenty of E numbers, probably a vivid hue, salt, salt and more salt. And fat: hidden in the recipe, declared on the packet and slathered on later by me. I knew this was coming when, last night, I glanced at the Rational Living blog and saw that Michelle had enough points to get lots of olive oil. Olive oil! Oh, what I could do with olive oil!

So tonight it's the closest I can get to such a meal whilst sticking to rations. I'm having hot dogs. They're Redwood vegan ones, no cholesterol (although my cholesterol levels are now right down anyway) and I'm having them in a brown crusty bread roll with lettuce and tomato and "made mustard" (from powder), so it's not exactly a complete betrayal of principles.
 But CJBS is feeling the same thing. He set off to the wild reaches of Moreton with a "ditty bag" (no, me neither) full of spam sandwiches - requested, please note, Scott ;o) - but pointed out that tomorrow is his rest day, and, if he could request a cheat, he wanted a pasta dish with garlic bread. And this will actually work: I've got 2oz of cheese in, plus pasta I got on points in January and didn't use all of. There's half a tin of Spam in the fridge. So that's (almost) cheesy sauce for me and Spam carbonara for him tomorrow. With luck, I might even be able to get fresh spinach and spoil the dish entirely. And I'm ahead on butter; if I can get garlic, I can go a bit mad.

Well, more mad: I'm finding excuses to have garlic bread. What could be more mad than that?


Michelle said...

I have to admit I gave you a thought the other day as I was adding butter to a dish...the cheese/fat restriction would be a challenge for sure. I'm actually toying with the idea of adopting your rations for a week or two as an experiment. You know, a "camaraderie across the pond, we're all in this together" kinda thing. Of course, as a result I may be disowned by the family.

Oh, and too bad we're not neighbors. I grow our own garlic and would have some to share with you. Any urban gardeners nearby?

RJGraham said...

Alas no! The houses in this street are from the late 19th century, so have small yards front and back. Some people have made something of theirs, but others still have the "outhouses" (outside toilets) filling the space, although all houses now have indoor plumbing!

The yards are all concrete or paving slabs, except for the end house where they excavated down to produce a sunken garden that grows ornamental plants (and exposed our sewer pipe, leading to them complaining and us having to spend £1000 re-routing and repairing it). There's wild garlic growing on the former railway line behind the house, but only in summer and I don't think it's edible anyway [Wikipedia says Allium oleraceum isn't].

Actually, your planning has been the most impressive part of our two experiments. I had planned to plan, as it were, but I'm not good at it. My excuse is that my walk to the store is my only trip out of the house each day, but it's a poor excuse. I'd hoped that I'd learn to plan better. Instead, I'm making us live hand-to-mouth each day, when you've got a menu ready each weekend!

That said, the UK rations, even at their lowest in 1946-7, did provide for exactly the right number of calories (and protein, fat and carbs) that nutritionists still recommend. And the kids get free orange juice and milk! The free milk stayed until the early 1970s (our minister for education at the time got a nickname for abolishing it: Maggie Thatcher Milk Snatcher). So you could do it... but the meals will be dull, dull, dull!

You can, however, send me the unused US rations as a food parcel ;o)